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The sound of Brexit in Broadstairs

The sound of Brexit in Broadstairs
5th April 2017 Cities and Memory
Brexit in Broadstairs

I’ve had this lovely recording of a classic English seaside town brass band for almost two years now, but never known what to do with it, as it stands alone as a nice example of some traditional music the likes of which you can hear all around the coast of the UK in towns like this.

But with the recent Brexit vote to leave the EU still ringing in my ears, there was something to be said here. Almost two-thirds (63.8%) of people in Thanet, the political constituency that contains Broadstairs, voted to leave the EU, in a divisive vote that will have repercussions for decades to come.

For this piece, I wanted to contrast the idyllic sounds of a traditional Kentish seaside town, which represent a return to a mythical British Empire of the past from many Leave voters, with the harsh realities of how divisive Brexit is, and some of the (in my view misguided) views around immigration, security and other issues that came up during the vote.

To do this, I broke out and removed the transient sounds from the brass band piece (using Eventide’s brilliant Fission), to leave just a miasma of melody from the original recording, representing that dreamlike view of the past.

I then added clips from Kent voters talking about why they want Britain to leave the EU, showing the cold truths of the motivations behind the Brexit vote.

City version:

Memory version: